The Indonesia Malaysia Thailand growth triangle (IMT-GT) is a special economic cooperation area initiative formed in 1993 by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to accelerate economic transformation in less development provinces of the three countries.
Since its formation, the IMT-GT has grown both in geographic scope of activities to encompass more than 70 million people living in its subregions. It currently includes the geographical areas of 10 provinces of Sumatera in Indonesia which are Aceh, North Sumatera, West Sumatera, South Sumatera, Riau, Riau Island, Jambi, Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung and Lampung.; 8 States of peninsular Malaysia which are Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Melaka.; and 14 Provinces in southern Thailand which are Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phattalung, Satun, Songkhla, Trang, Yala, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, and Phuket.
The objectives of the IMT-GT, supported by the vigor and dynamism of the private sector, with many partnerships and alliances being established, are to cooperate in six areas. They are trade and investment, infrastructure and transportation, tourism, halal and product services, human resources development, agriculture, and agro-based industry. The overall goal of the IMT-GT is to emphasize the importance of development of connectivity corrridors and to promote investment from oversea to IMT-GT subregion.
Adopted by second IMT-GT SUMMIT in 2006, the IMT-GT Roadmap for Development 2007-2011, outlined and sponsored by the Asia Development Bank: ADB, defines the strategies and plans for achieving the IMT-GT vision of a seamless, progressive, prosperous and peaceful subregion, with improved quality of life. The five years Roadmap serves both as a strategic framework, and a plan of action to guide subregional cooperation.
ACCORDING TO THE IMT-GT ROADMAP FOR WORKING GROUP OF THE MEMBER COUNTRIES, THEY ARE AS FOLLOW:
Facilitation and promotion intra- and inter-IMT-GT trade and investments.
Facilitate Trade and Investment facilitation aims to reduce the cost of doing business and promote freer flows of goods and services in the IMT-GT subregion.
Joint Promotion of the IMT-GT Subregion as an investment destination, particularly in the area of travel and tourism. Socia-Economic profile of the IMT-GT subregion and its components, data base on trade and investment and key sectors in the IMT-GT subregion, and prospectus on IMT-GT Business opportunities.
- Promote the growth of agriculture and agro-industry as as tourism.
- Promotion of the investment in agriculture (including fishery, forestry and livestock) and agro-industry.
- Preparation of Tourism Master Plan and conduct of joint tourism promotion and marketing programs focused on IMT-GT tourist destinations.
- Strengthen infrastructure linkage and support to the integration of the IMT-GT subregion.
- Facilitate shipping transportation (road, rail, air and sea services)
- Improve and develop the IMT-GT Communication.
- Develop the strategy and program for IMT-GT cooperation in energy.
- Address cross-sectoral concerns, specifically to develop human resources and skills competencies, enhance the mobility of labor, and strengthen environment and natural resources management in the IMT-GT subregion.
- Cooperation in human resources development and mobility of labor markets
- Cooperation in environment and natural resources management
- Strengthen the institutional arrangements and mechanisms for cooperation in IMT-GT subregion, including public-private sector collaboration, participation of stakeholders at the local level, and the mobilization of support from other development partners.
- Strengthen coordination mechanisms and processes among IMT-GT Institutions.
- Promote the participation of the private sector in infrastructural project through various forms of public-private partnerships. Strengthen the mechanisms for interaction, exchange of information and coordination between the public and private sectors.
Strengthen the mechanisms for interaction, exchange of information and coordination between the public and private sectors.
FOLLOW UP THE IMT-GT ROADMAP 2007-2011
The 1st Meeting of Working Groups on Trade and Investment was held in Banda Aceh, Indonesia on 26-27 of July 2007. The outcome of the meeting according to IMT-GT Roadmap, is as follow:
Follow up the projects set in the 14th Implementing Technical Group Meeting on Trade and Investment Development:
- Regarding the infrastructure, Malaysia and Thailand reported the progress of the building project of the Kolok Bridge connecting Ban Bukita – Bukit Bunga, and the development of the Border Township of Malaysia, ban Durian Barong, which is closed to the border of Thailand.
Furthermore, the meeting has considered the possibility to build another Kolok Bridge at Tha Taba, Takbai, Narathivas in connection with Pengulan Bor, Kelantan and studied the potential to establish special economic zone at Sadow. Songkhla and Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah.
- The Meeting has agreed on the Bilateral Payment Arrangement (BPA) according to the framework of IMT-GT Roadmap. Indonesia informed the meeting that Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Mandiri had been appointed as signatory banks but final international clearance by the government was still on going.
- Regarding Trade facility, the meeting has acknowledge the concern of the IMT-GT Joint Business Council (JBC)’s issue about the waiver on insurance coverage for vehicles crossing 50 km of either side of Malaysia and Thailand border and the insurance coverage for drivers using RORO ferry service between Belawan and Penang. The meeting noted that JBC should decide to continue pursuing there matters, it will be useful for JBC to submit the issues through the respective National Secretariat for consideration before the 14th Senior Official Meeting.
IMT-GT conference and Trade Expo
The meeting noted that it was necessary for member countries to organize the trade delegation to visit the expo and agreed that member of the working group should actively promote the expo organized by the respective member countries among the business communities.
Review of The IMT-GT Roadmap 2007 – 2011
The Meeting made several revisions for IMT-GT Roadmap Action Plan and agreed that member countries participated in the international trade fair under the name of IMT-GT.
The Trade and Investment Database
The meeting was supportive of the Trade and Investment Data Base project by the Asian Development Bank, however, the meeting felt that it was necessary that the respective National Secretariats be informed and consulted since the coverage of database us envisaged to other areas such as tourism and other possible sectors apart from the trade and investment. As such it was necessary for ADB to consider making a presentation to the 14th Senior Official Meeting
New Project Proposals.
Thailand informed the meeting of the establishment of the new IMT-GT Plaza in Phatthalung province and Indonesia informed the meeting of a new IMT-GT Plaza in Pekanbaru, Riau Province.
Thailand requested Indonesia to expand the coverage of the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement. The meeting noted that both countries would consult their respective Ministry of Finance to find possible ways to accommodate Thailand’s request.